|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. In discussing the methodology of the cult in Chapter 9, what does Andahl insist the cultists are not?
2. With what does Singh equate cities in Chapter 12?
3. What is James doing when he hears gunshots in Chapter 13?
4. What city is James in at the end of Chapter 9?
5. Where is Del Nearing en route to when she stays with James in Chapter 10?
Short Essay Questions
1. Where is Volterra in his planning for the cult film at the end of Chapter 8?
2. What is different about Chapter 14 from the rest of the novel?
3. How did Del Nearing and Frank Volterra meet?
4. What prank do the Kellers and James try to play on Hardeman in Chapter 11?
5. In Chapter 12, why does Owen go to Lake Rajsamand?
6. Describe the political argument that James and Eliades have in Chapter 10.
7. How is Chapter 14 connected thematically to the rest of the novel?
8. What admission does James make to Lindsay Keller in Chapter 13?
9. What information does Andahl give about the cult in Chapter 9?
10. What offer does David Keller make James in Chapter 8, and how does James respond?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Write an essay about the Language Cult and how it becomes a symbol in the novel. To what extent does the language cult exist outside of time and place? In what ways is it stateless and oddly innocent? In discussing the otherworldliness of the cult, determine what it represents to the people who search it out. What do these lost Americans long to find at the end of the search for the cult? To what extent does the cult represent a pre-American world?
Essay Topic 2
The Names takes place in a place and time in which new and unknown dangers are emerging for expat Americans. The novel finds clever and unnerving ways to illustrate these dangers. Write an essay in three parts dealing with the way DeLillo illustrates danger and fear in the novel:
Part 1) Discuss the new international reality that is emerging for Americans in the early 1980's. What is the state of the Cold War at this time? What events have illustrated the new danger posed by religious extremism? To what extent is James Axton's profession the quintessential creation of American expat culture in this time?
Part 2) James Axton is clearly a character what sits at the tip of the spear for international danger. What dangers exist for him throughout the novel? Discuss ambiguous characters, messages, and events that strike him as dangerous? What violent moment serves as the culmination of this nascent danger, and who does James think is responsible for it?
Part 3) Discuss the subterranean actions that place James Axton's life in danger throughout the novel. How has James been an unwitting pawn of the intelligence community? What was hunting him throughout the novel? How does he discover the true nature of his work?
Essay Topic 3
In DeLillo's novel, objects and words take on symbolic value. Some of this becomes inchoate as a result of age and divine intent. Some of it is created in the mind of the observer. Write an essay discussing the significance of certain objects in the book. What individual is engrossed with this object, and what reasons does he or she give? What effect does this object have on characters? What divine significance does this object have in relation to other elements of the novel?
Part 1) The Acropolis
Part 2) The Cuneiform the archeologist hires a boy to read on a high precipice.
Part 3) The Ta Onomata boulder
This section contains 1,159 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)